Senior Fisheries Scientist (National and Sub-regional Team Leader)

from Pacific Community
Closing date: 03 Nov 2019


The Pacific Community is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our unique organisation works across more than 25 sectors. We are renowned for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Fisheries, Aquaculture and Marine Ecosystems (FAME) Division includes the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) and Coastal Fisheries Programme (CFP). The goal of the OFP is to ensure fisheries that exploit the region’s resources of tuna, billfish and related species are managed for economic and ecological sustainability using the best available scientific information. In pursuing this goal, the OFP provides scientific support for the management of fisheries for tuna and associated species, with a strong focus on stock assessment and modelling, fisheries and ecosystem monitoring and analysis and data management. The OFP works closely with member countries and territories, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, the Forum Fisheries Agency, the Parties to the Nauru Agreement and other regional and sub-regional entities.

The role The Senior Fisheries Scientist (National and Sub-regional Team Leader) will develop annual workplans to service the needs of regional and subregional agencies in conjunction with the Principal Fisheries Scientist (Stock Assessment and Modelling), oversee the day to day implementation of the national and subregional work plans, undertake analyses and interpretation of biological data and fisheries statistics to support the assessment and management of pelagic fisheries in the western and central Pacific Ocean (WCPO) and provide scientific support for management initiatives and/or policy advice coordinated by the Forum Fisheries Agency and PNA Office on behalf of their members.

The key responsibilities of the role include the following:

1. Inform and influence regional fisheries policy making

· Work with senior Government officials, PNA Office personnel and senior FFA staff to improve the basis for regional fisheries policy

· Undertake scientific stock assessment related analyses,

· Represent OFP at high-level meetings,

· Evaluate the effectiveness of current and potential regional or sub-regional fisheries management measures, including use of MSE.

· Develop and improve methods for undertaking regional stock assessments,

· Present stock assessment information (in both written and oral form) on the basis of analyses conducted to the relevant regional fora,

· Undertake planning activities for WCPFC related research.

2. Develop and implement work plans to support sub-regional fisheries management initiatives (FFA, PNA)

· Plan, develop, and implement joint FFA-SPC projects through designing and implementing methodologies and reporting the results as support for FFA management initiatives to the relevant sub-regional for a,

· Provide technical support and data summaries to FFA’s regional and sub-regional meetings and to other related sub-regional arrangements, including PNA.

3. Inform national fisheries policy making

· Undertake scientific analyses required for drafting issue-specific national reports (ISNRs),

· Provide technical support, data summaries and interpretation for the development of national tuna management plans (TMPs) and their related processes.

4. Enhance the capacity of SPC members

· Assist in the development and delivery of regional workshops and complementary activities to build in-country capacity to interpret and apply information on fisheries management,

· Host attachments from member countries and provide training in analytical and data handling methods,

· Provide assistance and make presentations at national and sub-regional meetings, which will improve the capacity of the members.

5. Increased effectiveness of section activities

· Oversee the day to day work of the staff working on national and sub-regional related issues,

· Contribute to planning processes for the Oceanic Fisheries Programme (OFP) section in the development of strategic and operational work plans in conjunction with the Principal Fisheries Scientist.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the online job description.

Key selection criteria

1. Qualifications

• PhD degree or equivalent with subject focussed on fisheries science, population biology, stock assessment modelling, natural resource management, or a related discipline.

2. Technical expertise

• At least 7-8 years of practical experience in direct application of fisheries science to fisheries management,

• Thorough knowledge of fisheries stock assessment principles and techniques as demonstrated through practical and quantitative fisheries science experience,

• Experience in managing scientific staff and work programmes,

• Strong quantitative analytical skills, including experience in data modelling and programming,

• Excellent time and project management skills as demonstrated through the ability to complete demanding work plans within tight timelines while maintaining the capacity to be responsive to the needs of the client.

3. Language skills

• Excellent communication skills in English particularly in written and oral presentation of scientific results to diverse audiences.

4. Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

• Excellent interpersonal skills and able to build individual capacity of his/her team members;

• A team player, with the ability to manage and support staff in a team environment and relationships critical for collaborative projects;

• Cultural sensitivity and a demonstrated understanding of developing country environments;

• Knowledge of Pacific Island countries and territories is an advantage.

Salary, terms and conditions

Required start date – This position is to be filled as soon as possible.

Contract Duration – This position is budgeted for three years and is subject to renewal for three years depending on performance and funding.

Remuneration – The Senior Fisheries Scientist (National and Sub-regional Team Leader is a Band 12 position in SPC’s 2019 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 4,580–5,629 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately XPF 654,276 – 804,095 (USD 6,503–7,993; EUR 5,483–6,738). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration being given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. SPC salaries are not presently subject to income tax in New Caledonia.

Benefits for international staff employees based in New Caledonia – SPC provides subsidised housing in Noumea. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance, and education allowance are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Equal opportunity – SPC is an equal opportunity employer. Recruitment is based entirely on merit; in cases where two short-listed candidates are judged to be of equal rank by the selection committee, preference will be given to Pacific Island nationals.

Child protection – SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Police clearance – Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

How to apply:

Application procedure

Closing date: 3 November 2019

Job Reference: AL000231

Applicants must apply online at

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

· an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees

· a cover letter detailing your skills and experience relative to the key selection criteria, and interest in this position

· responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

All positions at SPC have specific screening questions. If you do not respond to all of the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening questions

  1. Describe the key issues you feel fishery managers must understand when reviewing the outputs of fisheries stock assessments, particularly when those assessments are performed using integrated assessment models.

  2. Using examples, describe how you have presented the consequences of alternative fishery management options to stakeholders, and why you used particular approaches.

  3. Describe how you would go about developing and delivering a fishery management-themed capacity building workshop.